Diagrams are a description task that will come across in the IELTS. For this question type, you must describe in brief a presented map or diagram. To do so, begin by analyzing the question and identifying the main features of the diagram. Draft and introduction, followed by an overview of the main characteristics of the image. Then you may finally add the essential details.

When writing about diagrams, it’s essential to:

  • Observe the diagram carefully to understand the steps involved in the process or cycle.
  • Determine which points are most critical to include in your description, leaving out minor details that do not contribute to the overall understanding of the process.
  • Write a structured overview that clearly outlines the sequence and how one stage leads to the next.
  • Use an appropriate academic tone and style in your writing.
  • Aim to complete the task in about 20 minutes, ensuring your description is concise yet comprehensive.

Tips and Tactics

  1. Examine each part of the diagram carefully before writing to fully understand what you will be describing.
  2. Identify key features in the diagram and underline important terms or stages in the question paper.
  3. Organize your essay into three parts: an introduction, main body paragraph(s), and a conclusion.
  4. Begin with an introductory sentence that outlines the diagram or process in general terms without repeating the wording of the question.
  5. Describe the beginning of the process and follow through with the sequence of steps. Avoid including minor steps unless they are crucial to the process.
  6. Consider dividing the description into logical sections, focusing on major stages in the process.
  7. While explaining, use an appropriate sequence of tenses, generally present simple passive for processes (e.g., is done, can be done).
  8. Utilize sequencing words and phrases like “First,” “Next,” “Finally,” to clarify the order of the process.
  9. Use passive voice where appropriate to describe the actions being taken in the process.
  10. Include examples or explanations only when they add significant value to the description.
  11. If there are technical terms used in the diagram, incorporate them into your description appropriately.
  12. Avoid writing a concluding paragraph as it is not required for process descriptions.
  13. Do not give personal opinions or speculate on the reasons behind the process.
  14. Manage your time efficiently, aiming to complete Task 1 within 20 minutes.
  15. Ensure your handwriting is neat to aid the examiner in marking your work.
  16. Familiarize yourself with the marking criteria used by examiners, detailed in the IELTS Writing Test guidelines.
Scroll to Top